Dairy free, Entree, Pasta & Grains, Vegan, Vegetarian

Pasta with Capers, Garlic and Toasted Breadcrumbs

October 3, 2017
Pasta with capers
Pasta with capers

I remember having pasta with capers when I first started driving. It was my first time driving downtown. I was excited to finally be on my own and go into the city. With some friends we went to a fancy Italian restaurant and I ordered this simple pasta: pasta with capers. I loved it. It was so comforting and full of flavor, just with a few ingredients. After all these years I still remember that meal.

In this recipe, I’ve tried to re-create that experience. I also added whole-wheat breadcrumbs as is common in Italian recipes for a bit of texture. If you love capers, you will love this pasta. I have lately been quite enamored with capers. I found some wild capers from the island of Tinos as well as the famous Santorini capers and I’ve been using them everywhere: on rusks, in salads or just plain as an appetizer. They are a great source of antioxidants, even in small amounts (you don’t need to eat huge amounts to get the benefits) and it appears that if you eat them with meat, the antioxidants prevent the formation of certain byproducts of digested meat that have been linked to an increased risk of cancer and heart disease. Here in Greece we also have pickled caper leaves, which we put in salads or just enjoy as a meze.

Pickled Caper Leaves

Pasta is very much part of the traditional Italian Mediterranean diet, but not western style in huge amounts, but as an accompaniment to a meal. I’ve calculated about 2½ ounces of uncooked pasta per person for a main dish, which is a good amount. If you have this as a first course , I would have half of that. If you have it as a main course, accompany it with a large salad for a filling meal.

This is a very easy and quick meal, to prepare the “sauce” takes only a few minutes.

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Pasta with Capers, Garlic and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Pasta with capers
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
You get a lot of flavor with this effortless pasta dish made with juicy capers and golden breadcrumbs crisped in olive oil.
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: Pasta with capers
Servings: 4
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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  • 10 ounces dry spaghetti (300 grams)
  • 4 tablespoons capers rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs I used whole-wheat
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper


  • Boil the spaghetti according to directions.
  • While the spaghetti is boiling, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • Sauté the garlic for one minute.
  • Add the capers and parsley and sauté for one more minute and then add the wine and stir until evaporated.
  • Add the bread crumbs and continue sautéing until breadcrumbs are golden about another minute.
  • Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot and pour over the sauce and mix well until pasta is well coated.
  • Serve with freshly ground pepper and salt as need and fresh chopped parsley.
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Photo by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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  • Reply Helen October 4, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Hi Elena, I have made a similar recipe substituting a hand full of walnuts for the bread crumbs. I added some chili, an anchovy and topped with grated parmesan. Delicious.

    • Reply Elena October 5, 2017 at 5:26 am

      Helen thanks for sharing, I’ll be trying the walnuts next time!

  • Reply Eva October 4, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    I love simple yet tasty recipes like this, thanks (and I love capers, especially the leaves)…I would say pasta meals have been the go-to dinners for a lot of people here in the UK for the past 20 years or so, it’s just so quick and easy to prepare (I try to stay away from rich cream sauces though!) 😉

  • Reply Greek Lemon Caper Dip with Greek Yogurt | Olive Tomato September 18, 2018 at 11:51 am

    […] on rusks or bread- I’ll mash some feta, drizzle a bit of olive oil and sprinkle some capers, on pasta, and we sometimes eat them plain as an appetizer. But apart from their culinary versatility – […]

  • Reply Marcia October 14, 2019 at 2:28 am

    This was very delicious! Plus, it was fun to make (I love to sauté garlic in good olive oil). My home still smells so wonderful from making this. Cooking has become fun again since finding this website, and I feel so fulfilled making healthy, delicious meals that don’t take all day to prepare…. thank you!!!!

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